News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

April 30, 2014

Evonik Industries announces price increase for silica

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 11:24 am

Evonik Industries yesterday announced that its Inorganic Materials Business Unit will raise the sales prices for its silica products, metal oxides and matting agents as of June 1st 2014. The fumed silica and metal oxides are sold under the brand names AEROSIL® and AEROXIDE®. The precipitated silica are sold under the brand names ULTRASIL®, SIPERNAT®, SIDENT® and ACEMATT®. The prices will be increased by up to eight percent or as contracts allow. This measure is needed to secure sustainable supply.

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April 27, 2014

Orion Engineered Carbons files for IPO

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 10:28 pm

On April 22, 2014, carbon black producer Orion Engineered Carbons Holdings GmbH (Frankfurt, Germany) submitted a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $300 million in an initial public offering with the intent to list on the New York Stock Exchange. A copy of the filing can be found here and a synopsis of the filing can be found here. The SEC filing did not disclose pricing terms. The deal is being handled by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and UBS Investment Bank. Orion Engineered Carbons was formed in 2011 when Rhone Capital L.L.C. and Triton Advisors Ltd. purchased the carbon black unit of Evonik A.G. for €900 million. Orion operates 14 carbon black plants worldwide, including one majority-owned joint venture plant in China (Qingdao Evonik Chemicals) that Orion currently is seeking to wholly acquire. The sale is subject to ongoing Chinese government review and negotiations with Evonik and between Evonik and its joint venture partner. Orion is currently structured as a German limited liability company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, or GmbH) headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

In 2013, Orion generated revenues of €1.3 billion based on volume sales of 968 kilotonnes of carbon black, including both specialty and rubber grades. According to the SEC filing, 34% of sales were in Europe, 24% were in North America, 24% were in Asia, 7% were in Brazil, and 11% were in Africa and elsewhere. According to its filing, Orion produces more than 280 specialty carbon black grades and about 70 rubber carbon black grades. According to the filing, Orion expanded its capacity in Korea in 2013, and is making incremental expansions in rubber black capacity at plants in the United States, Europe, and Brazil. Orion also commissioned an after-treatment facility for specialty carbon blacks in Germany in 2014.

April 24, 2014

Notch publishes new report on automotive extended mobility systems: run-flat tires, tire repair kits, and self-sealing tires

Filed under: Auto, Run-flats — Notch @ 6:00 am

In 2008, 69% of all passenger cars assembled worldwide came equipped with a full-size spare tire, but by 2012 that number had fallen to just 48% as automakers sought to reduce vehicle weight and save space. By 2020, the number of cars with full-size spares is forecast to fall to 36%. Notch Consulting has published a new multi-client market research report that examines the systems that are replacing the spare tire in new cars: Prospects for Extended Mobility Systems: Run-Flat Tires, Tire Repair Kits & Self-Sealing Tires in OEM Passenger Car Markets. This 77-page report includes 17 tables detailing demand for each of these three products in OEM passenger car markets by region and by customer, as well as average pricing, market share by supplier, and profiles of leading suppliers. The report provides demand in units for all years from 2008 through 2013, as well as forecasts for all years from 2014 through 2020. Data on run-flat tires covers all years 2002 through 2020 and include both OEM and replacement demand. Contact Notch at info@notchconsulting.com for more information or to order.

April 18, 2014

Tokai Carbon completes acquisition of Cancarb Ltd.

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 10:34 am

On April 15, Tokai Carbon Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) completed its acquisition of Cancarb Limited (Alberta, Canada) from TransCanada. The purchase price was C$190 million. Tokai Carbon is a leading producer of furnace black, with factories in Japan, China and Thailand. Cancarb is the world’s leading producer of thermal black, which it offers under the Thermax brandname.

April 14, 2014

Tiremakers continue to invest in the United States

Filed under: Carbon Black, insoluble sulfur, Rubber Chemicals, Tire Cord, Tires — Notch @ 6:05 am

Tire Business has an overview of the current slate of tire plant expansions underway or planned for the United States. This includes major projects by Bridgestone, Continental, Hankook, Michelin, Toyo, and Yokohama. The article confirms industry rumors that Korean tiremaker Kumho Tire USA Inc. plans to restart a long-stalled project to build a new tire plant in Georgia. Notch Consulting is tracking $4.5 billion in new investment in tire capacity in the United States from 2012 through 2020.

Bridgestone Americas launches new DriveGuard line of run-flat tires for replacement market

Filed under: Run-flats, Tires — Notch @ 6:00 am

Tire Business has details on the launch of a new line of self-supporting run-flat tires from Bridgestone Americas. The company launched the new line, called DriveGuard, on April 3 at the Circuit of the Americas near Austin during a ride-and-drive event for dealers and journalists. The launch is interesting for several reasons. First, the new tires are intended as mass-market replacement tires for use on coupes, sedans and wagons with tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) but that were not originally equipped with run-flat tires. Previously, the vast majority of replacement sales for run-flats were for cars in which run-flats were factory-installed. Secondly, Bridgestone is marketing the run-flats very heavily to women, whom Bridgestone believes will take a natural interest in the tire’s safety and convenience advantages. Bridgestone has enlisted actress Julie Bowen from Modern Family as its official spokesperson for Driveguard and is spending heavily on advertising on female-skewing shows such as The Bachelor and Nashville. DriveGuard tires are available in the U.S. and Canada and come with a 50,000- to 60,000-mile treadwear warranty. They are available in 32 sizes in 15- to 19-inch rim diameters and 35 to 65 series. Here is a video of the launch presentation by Robert Saul, product planning manager of Bridgestone Americas.

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